Tinie Tempah

Bitter Sweet are the first two words that spring to mind when trying to sum up the gig.

Bitter – waiting 40 minutes for him to come on stage after Katy B (who I would like to add at this point was amazing) finished her set. Sweeeet was the level of energy that hit the room when Tinie Tempah began with the intro from his album Disc-Overy. It was like a lyrical machine gun blasted the crowd as every person in the room, arms raised, jumped to the base line. It was a perfect start to his gig, the room was pumped.

You could feel the love when he began Wonderman and each raised pair of hands in the room swiftly made the W sign. Everything was going great.

After an amazing first 3 songs Tinie took the opportunity to introduce himself, each one of his band and his DJ. I have to say, that while it was long winded and all I wanted was some more of his music, I have to commend Tinie Tempah for his genuine appreciation of his team. As a young new artist he could easily have let it all go to his head and view himself as the star, he never once gave the impression he had any such thoughts.

He introduced his new song Snap and asked everyone in the audience to get their cameras out to take a picture. Instantly hundreds of phones and cameras were in the air ready. After finishing the song he thanked everyone for their participation and claimed “That was a beautiful moment”.

Gig Junkies at Tinie Tempah

He kept the crowd feeling important to him as he frequently mentioned how great the crowd at Birmingham 02 Academy were being. He slipped up at one point saying 02 Arena where he was quick to correct himself and laughed as he said “I wish” If his performance was anything to go by last night and the love his fans have for him I believe that ‘wish’ is not so far away.

There were a couple more impromptu speeches from Tinie Tempah that I feel I can’t ignore, they go as follows. One which made me personally brim with pride and happiness. Starting with him saying how brilliant British music is and how proud he was of his nationality and the amazing music industry we have, he went on to name a few of his favourite artist. It was a moment of elation for me to hear a young and influential artist bring some pride home to our hearts.

Second speech was about how he felt winning the two Brit Awards this month. He took the chance to give a heart-felt thank you to the audience for their support in helping him achieve this. When he said that his album had sold half a million copies I was shocked. The album is brilliant. With 56 million people living in the UK I don’t understand how it hadn’t sold more. Looking around at his audience it ranged from teenagers to a couple rocking it who were easily mid to late 50s, how could such a variation of fans have been missing out on this album (sorry a slight digression there).

So anyway he told us how last year he had attended the Brits and he had been star struck and dreaming it was him. The whole time I was thinking please stop telling me, write some great lyrics about it couple it with one of your amazing tracks and blast it at us so we can bounce while we appreciate your success. Alas it was just a long speech; I got lost half way through as the venue security rampaged through the crowd to sort out some possible equally bored fans. He then sorted out a shot of JD for himself and the band and they all took a shot to his success. I can’t knock him for that, he should be proud.

So the gig carried on, each song appreciated and sung back at him full force from the crowd. But tensions were building to hear Frisky and Pass Out, the room became electric. As equally great as all the songs off his album are, the excitement to hear him perform those two songs is immense. The moment came and Frisky started, the crowd came alive and every person in the venue was jumping arms raised and singing. Tinie Tempah looked in his element pounding out his song. He is so impressive to watch doing songs like Frisky jumping all over the stage and encouraging the crowd to join in with him.

After Frisky Tinie Tempah left the stage and the lights went down. At the back of the stage the monitor went black and the crowd was roaring. Seconds later a pulse line flickered across the monitor with a beep. The crowd got even louder knowing what was coming, believe me the tension in the room was phenomenal. The pulse line got quicker with the beep getting faster. When the pulse line was at its peak Pass Out started. Every single person in the room went crazy, Tinie Tempah burst back on to the stage, people threw their beers into the air, it was ‘on’ and the crowd was crazy.

Then the most shocking thing I have ever experienced at a gig happened. Tinie Tempah stopped the music and said “Hold on went a minute”. It was like being smacked into a wall, the room irrupted into boos. He laughed it off and said “I knew you would do that but I want to hear more noise from you”. It took a moment for the crowd to warm back up but seriously, that has got to be the worst Rookie mistake I have witnessed. The crowd was at absolute fever pitch we could not have been more energetic then when it first started. I hope he never chooses to do that at his gigs ever again.

After he had won the crowd around again and Pass Out was coming at us full force, Tinie Tempah was at his best and the crowd loved every minute of it. There were arms, legs and bodies flying all over the place.

So in a nutshell less chatter, more music and Tinie Tempah will fast become one of the most amazing live acts to go and see. I look forward to the day that he has learnt to read the crowd a little better and is back in Birmingham. He is a definite performer to watch before you die or at least you’re just too old to jump around so freely.

At 22 Tinie Tempah has got more swagger and stage presence then most, coupled with his adorable humbled attitude to his fame and his genuine appreciations for his band, DJ and fans he is truly a British act to look out for. I hope he will be around for a long time.

Gig Review by Dani Barrett
Live Gig Photography by Katja Ogrin

One Response to “Tinie Tempah + Katy B @ The 02 Academy, Birmingham, UK – 24 February 2011”

  1. Gig Reviews | Gig Photography | Interviews | Competitions from Gig Junkies » Blog Archive » 2011 Barclaycard Mercury Prize ‘Albums of the Year’ Revealed Says:

    […] Tinie Tempah ‘Disc-Overy’ ‘Disc-Overy’, Tinie Tempah’s debut album, recorded in London and Sweden, was released on Parlophone in October 2010. Tinie, from South East London, is the first UK rap artist to have a million selling single in the USA, with ‘Written in the Stars’. The number one album also features the Labrinth produced singles ‘Pass Out’ and ‘Frisky’. ‘A brilliant new voice in British urban music. Witty, eclectic, charismatic – ‘Disc-Overy’ is completely irresistible’ […]

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